Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Southern Man (rare, live acoustic version), 1988





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Uploaded on Aug 28, 2011

From the wonderful Thrasher's Wheat....

"Well, I hope Neil Young will remember
a southern man don't need him around anyhow"

Thanks to Neil Young, Lynyrd Skynyrd was inspired to write the song "Sweet Home Alabama".

Without Young's songs that were so critical of the South's segregationist and racist attitudes for inspiration, it is doubtful that the band would have produced a song with such a long lasting duration that continues to sell well 30 years after its release.

But the ultimate irony of "Sweet Home Alabama" is that for so many, the song's implied put down of Neil Young was NOT meant as criticism but as support of Young's anti-racism. Thus, for those who think it's so clever to put down Neil Young using the phrase "Hope Neil Young will remember, a southern man don't need him around anyhow" little do they realize that they have the meaning backwards. Every day, someone blogs or tweets the "Neil Young putdown" without comprehending that they've actually praised him. (Or even make implied death threats (note caption).) Similarly, with the State of Alabama using the phrase "Sweet Home Alabama" as an official slogan on license plates, one truly has to wonder what they were thinking the song was about.

Somewhere, Ronnie is still having a good laugh at Alabama officials and Neil Young bashers. Such is the duality of the southern thing.
Is "Sweet Home Alabama" Really Sweet?

he history of Lynyrd Skynyrd's 1974 song "Sweet Home Alabama" has a long and tortured history. The enormously popular song has an extraordinarily complex backstory involving a wide swath of groups which have laid claim to the song's message and symbols. As this article demonstrates, the complicated saga of "Sweet Home Alabama" is anything but sweet.

Rarely has such a widely popular hit song been so vastly misunderstood by so many for so long.

This article came about because I've long been fascinated with Neil Young's influence on other bands ever since I heard Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama" which was written in response to two of Young's anti-southern slavery songs, "Southern Man", from the album After the Gold Rush, and "Alabama", from the album Harvest. From "Sweet Home Alabama" lyrics: Well, I heard Mister Young sing about her Well, I heard ole Neil put her down. Well, I hope Neil Young will remember a southern man don't need him around anyhow.


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